Referral traffic represents the visitors who arrive on your site by clicking a link on other domains, not through a search engine or direct link.

What is referral traffic?

Referral traffic includes traffic coming to a site through affiliates, links, content partners, and traffic from direct media buying or news coverage.

Understanding referral traffic can give you insight into the success of external marketing campaigns, the popularity of your site among your audience, and the effectiveness of your partnerships and relationships with other websites. 


Referral traffic insights can help website owners make data-driven decisions to improve their site, increase traffic, and build stronger relationships with their audience and partners.

Referral traffic


Visit the Incoming Traffic page in the Website Analysis module to view:

  • Volume of incoming referral visits
  • Distribution of visits over time 
  • Referring websites and industries
  • Who is winning the lion's share of the referral traffic

Use the filters in the Referring websites table to drill down by industry and to discover the wins and the missed opportunities.

Referring websites

Then, dive into the list of top referring websites to learn more about where the traffic is coming from. Measure the volume and quality of traffic by referring website.



Q: How does Similarweb count referral traffic between subdomains of a website?

A: When a user navigates from to

  • One visit is calculated for
  • One visit is calculated for
  • One visit (not two) is calculated, for (including subdomains)

Therefore, in some cases where there is a lot of inner traffic (traffic between the sub-domains), we sometimes see that a specific sub-domain has more visits than the main domain (+ subdomain included).


Additional resources:

For more information on finding and interpreting incoming referral traffic, visit Incoming Traffic Insights.

To learn about analyzing outgoing traffic from a site, visit Outgoing Traffic Insights

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